So that with one mind and voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6
What is on your mind right now? Are you thinking about work, marriage, your children, a relationship, health, an upcoming event, money, politics, a decision you need to make, a loved-one who is far away or even serving in the military? Maybe your mind is not filled with deep thoughts at this moment, only a few distractions or daily stuff like, “What am I going to fix for dinner?” I have learned that when life seems shattered or my thoughts are scattered, my greatest strength, shield, and solution is to unite with God through prayer. I am going to ask you to pinpoint whatever it is that is on your mind and pray about it right now. Just pause for a moment and whether it is a praise, a word of thanks, a need, a decision, or even a deep situation that needs a miracle; lift it up to God right now.
Now, how do you feel? I pray that you know how deeply your heavenly Father loves you, but even more, I pray that you would make up your mind right now to allow God to be glorified in whatever circumstance you just lifted up to Him in prayer. It may surprise you that I use the word, “allow.” We do not usually think of the creation allowing its Creator to do anything – we submit to Him. The truth is that Christ is supreme; all that exists was knit together and is held together by Him, but as humans, we tend to keep a close watch or even a tight grip of control on all that concerns us. We may pray about it but then we continue to worry, or even impatiently manipulate or facilitate what we think needs to happen in order to achieve our desired outcome. Acts 2:42-43 describes the early Church as being continually devoted to the teaching of the gospel, connecting with fellow believers, prayer and the sense of awe that they felt. God is glorified through our prayerful trust and awe of Him.
What causes us to doubt? Where is our hope? Where is our strength and peace? Have we lost our faith or focus in the supremacy of Christ. Have we forgotten how AWESOME He really is? In his book, Christ is All! A Joyful Manifesto on the Supremacy of God’s Son; David Bryant writes, “Only in the supremacy of God’s Son can we recover ALL the hope we are meant to have.” We must keep Christ on our mind, taking every thought to Him, praying His Kingdom come and will be done in our lives and on earth, as it is in heaven. As followers of Christ we must share one another’s burdens in prayer united in the determination that above all, He would be glorified. We must understand the amazing truth of what it means to know He hears our prayers, and with supreme love and power, He acts in perfect time and wisdom. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are so much higher than ours; therefore we can only find peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control by fervently focusing on Him and therefore allowing Him to bring these from root to fruit in our lives. When our nation seems scattered and our world is shattered, the Church must unite in prayer.
Many things may divide us but unity can come in the inspired biblical truth that we are children of the sovereign, loving, supreme God. Imagine what the Church, America and the world would look like if we devoted ourselves with one mind, to pray faith-filled prayers and live awe-filled lives inspired by the supremacy of Christ! Let’s unite to pray this way!
- Kathy Branzell, Director of Partnerships
Important things should be written down.
It's obvious through the Ten Commandments and the Bible that the Lord places a great emphasis on putting important things in writing. We put
important things in writing too, such as marriage licenses and business contracts. But, when it comes to writing our Last Will and Testament, we tend to put it off year after year.
The truth is that having a Christian Will that legally provides for your loved ones is an important act of stewardship that believers often overlook. Have you stopped to consider that your Will is the legal document that transfers stewardship of everything the Lord has entrusted to you? This is why you should not only stop putting it off, but also, bathe the process in prayer and consider biblical principles when designing the right plan for your Will.
So, why not make a New Year's resolution (a promise to the Lord) that you will take the time to be a good steward of your family and the things he has entrusted to you by having your Will or Trust made. To assist you, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has a free Will and Trust Planning Ministry on our website. From the privacy of your home, you can learn how to design your Will or Trust from a biblical worldview by watching video clips. What's more, you only have to watch the video clips that pertain to your specific circumstances, so it's quick, easy and user friendly. Simply, visit our website at www.nationaldayofprayer.org/donate and click on the video.
Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1 Cor. 4:2
- Rosalinda Baron, Director of Development
You probably have. That's the story of Daniel, an elderly Jewish resident in Babylon sentenced to death for faithfully talking to God (Daniel 6).
Although the prayer that sent Daniel to the lion's den is his most famous talk with God (6:11), it wasn't the only time we see him in prayer. In Daniel 9, we read an example of how he prayed. Daniel had been reading in his scroll of Jeremiah that the captivity of his people would last 70 years, and the people were 67 years into exile (Jeremiah 25:8-11). He was eager for it to end.
God had called his people to live righteously, but they weren't doing that. Daniel decided to live righteously despite their lack of faith. He began to pray that God would not delay the end of the captivity.
As he prayed, Daniel focused on worship and confession. His pattern of prayer gives us an important insight into talking to God. We are to recognize that God is "great and awesome" (v.4) and that "we have sinned" (v.15). In prayer, we praise and confess.
Let's follow Daniel's lead. To him, prayer was as vital as life itself.
No one stands as tall as a Christian on his knees.
- Dave Branon, writing for Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries
If you have not ordered Our Daily Bread for you and your family, then contact RBC Ministries today at www.rbc.org
Posted by John Bornschein, Vice Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force
“For some time [the judge] refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!” And the Lord [Jesus] said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?” (Luke 18:4-7)
Scripture says that Jesus told the disciples this parable to show “that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1, KJV). Let us never faint from the privilege of bowing before God in prayer!
Prayer Focus: Praise God for His patient teaching on prayer; Repent of any “fainting” you’ve done when you’ve failed to persevere; Ask for His help to be faithful in prayer in the midst of life’s stresses; Yield to Him by joyfully persevering even when you’re tempted to give up.
- Shirley Dobson
Have you ever noticed that human beings, in general, have various opinions about many different things? Not only that, but they are often quick to share those opinions with others, hoping to find someone who will agree with them – someone who will have the same mind. This desire for like-mindedness is firmly rooted in the minds and hearts of people, because that is how God created us. After all, the design in the beginning was two people, from one, living in unity, and walking together in ‘one mind’.
Being of the same mind is critical to unity and harmony in purpose. There is power in unity! When enough like-minded people connect with a single purpose, amazing things happen – especially when there is a common need! Think about the unity and oneness of purpose that we’ve observed as a nation from the very beginning. We, as thirteen colonies, obtained freedom with oneness of mind and singleness of purpose. Together, we were victorious against the largest, best-equipped army and navy in the known world.
On December 7th, 1941 a cry went out through our nation in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, hundreds of thousands of men and women, including my father, responded with one voice, “Remember Pearl Harbor!” With one mind and purpose they marched, sailed, and flew into battle, and in unity, again emerged victorious! More recently, after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, tens of thousands rallied and joined our nation’s military forces to battle and protect America from the very real threat of radical Islam! It is because of their unity and valiant efforts that we’ve been able to live our lives in relative safety these last 13 years.
During the Pray for America Tour this past summer, we boarded a bus, and visited over 400 communities in 33 different states. City after city, we engaged people with the challenge to Pray for America, and asked the question, ‘What are the greatest prayer needs in your community?’ The number one answer that we received, over and over again, was ‘unity’! “Please pray for unity!” So how do we unify? How do we find the common purpose that will override our individual differences? I believe it’s by looking to Scripture, and remembering who we are, and why we’re here!
Today, a battle still rages, but this one isn’t against flesh and blood, it’s against principalities and powers in the heavenly realms! The cry of God’s people across our nation is for unity or oneness. We are embracing the need for born again, Bible believing Christians, to be ONE, as Jesus and the Father are ONE. People are waking up to the fact that the enemy of our souls is still roaming about, and that the Kingdom of God still needs to be established! On the first Thursday in May, the National Day of Prayer, let’s purpose to stand in unity, in one mind, and cry out with one voice together! Let’s cry out to the only ONE who can deliver us and our nation! When we do, we will truly be glorifying the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Dion Elmore, Director, NDP Task Force
Happy New Year! Hard to believe it is 2014. It is quite amazing when you think about it that another year is in the history books and you contributed to the greater story. That’s right, your every action has an outcome that impacts potentially generations to come. It is not our story but HIS story we are blessed to be a part of - “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). I am especially blessed to know that God directs our path and every day is purposeful and strategic despite myself. He takes my mistakes and my successes, my aspirations and my trials and each are building materials in the Architects hands: “A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
It has certainly been a year of trials and tribulation both at home and abroad. The economic and spiritual decay of our nation has impacted every home and has left non unscathed. Yet we find our hope in God and it is through Him that we stand boldly at front line seeing victory and not defeat. You have preserved in prayer - day and night you have given the enemy no joy in your countless words of petition on behalf of our nation, accompanied with powerful expressions of praise that are a sweet aroma to the nostrils of the Most High. Many of you have taken blow after blow yet you have demonstrated unwavering faith and determination to hold the standard high. In your presence I am often reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt who said:
It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
This year, the theme for the National Day of Prayer is “One Voice, United in Prayer” and what a powerful statement to make - a beacon to this lost and wavering society that we must return to the God of our fathers in humble intercession. Abraham Lincoln said it best, “I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” For we are given power not to advance our own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of that which He has given us, and it is to advance His will. May we always remember that it is not our will but Thy will be done.
The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways... that all peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.
Vice Chairman, NDP Task Force
A dear friend wanted to ensure that I began the new year on the right note so he gave me a wonderful, one-year devotional called New Beginnings. Each page brings inspiration, challenges and motivation to grow in our walk with Jesus Christ. After reading this morning, I felt compelled to share the following thoughts with you as we develop our active prayer life throughout 2014 and beyond:
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Of the spiritual luggage that you will carry with you into the new year, prayer is one of the most important components. Some people maintain that prayer is easy. Others believe that it is difficult. If you are trying to develop a growing and meaningful prayer life, you will know that both these statements contain some truth.
With the best intentions in your heart you set aside time for a peaceful time of prayer, but just as you are preparing yourself, something intrudes upon these precious moments: a telephone call, a knock at the door, a sudden reminder of something you should have done. You can be sure that the devil will leave no stone unturned to prevent you from praying.
It would be a good idea to take these things that distract you and enfold them with your prayers. Take the disturbances that the devil places in your way and change them into subjects for prayer.
Prayer is not a static entity, but a dynamic, pulsating force that needs to be used continually if it is to retain its power and fulfill its function of leading you into a more intimate relationship with God. If your prayer life is weak and ineffectual, you become like a motor battery that hasn't been used for some time: it cannot fulfill the task for which it was created. Recharge your prayer batteries through disciplined prayer and feel how God starts working in your life.
Lord Jesus, let me discover the wonder and the power of prayer anew through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Sanctify my prayers and make me faithful in my prayer life.
Warm greetings to you from the National Day of Prayer Task Force! I was blessed to receive the following thoughts on Legacy Living from my dear friend, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and it seemed fitting to share with you as we conclude 2013, while looking expectantly to the New Year:
I am so thankful for the many valuable lessons my father, Arthur S. DeMoss, taught me about a biblical perspective on money and material possessions. As both a successful businessman and an earnest follower of Jesus Christ, he was a living illustration of those principles. As I look back on my dad’s life, I see several reasons for the blessing of God on his life:
1. He put God first, above everything else. He believed that the greatest wealth was knowing God. This priority was evident as he gave the first hour of every day to the study of God’s Word and Prayer. In the twenty-eight years that he knew Christ, there was not a single day when anything else came before that hour alone with God.
2. He recognized God as the source of every material blessing. He taught us not to look to an employer or parent or a husband as the source of our income, but to look to the Lord as our Provider. And he taught us that we are as utterly dependent on God to provide when we have a regular, substantial income as when we have no visible means of support.
3. He acknowledged God’s right to give and to take away material blessings. This is the reason he was able to be as grateful and content in times of material loss as in times of tremendous gain. I remember one twelve- month period during which we lost our home in a fire, my mother almost lost her life with a massive brain tumor, and my dad lost many millions of dollars in far less time than it took to accumulate it. Through all those months, his faith, joy, and serenity were never diminished, because he recognized and trusted the sovereignty of God.
4. He saw himself not as a recipient, but as a channel of God’s blessings. He believed that God gives to His children, not so they can store up things that don’t last, but so they can meet the needs of others. Next to knowing God and leading others to Christ, the privilege of giving the vast majority of his income was probably the greatest joy of my dad’s life. He steadfastly rejected the recommendations of tax advisers that he save and invest more. He sincerely believed that “it was more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
The model of my dad’s life and teaching in this matter of giving has profoundly impacted my life. As a result of his influence, I have learned the joy of asking the Lord, when I receive any form of income, “Do You want me to invest this in Your kingdom?” And when I hear of a need of another person or ministry, the question on my heart is, “Do You want to use me to help meet that need?”
Perhaps this is where genuine revival begins- with the willingness (and eagerness) to give everything we are and have to God, and to be channels through whom He can bless and meet the needs of others.
Is that too much for Him to ask? “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” ( 2 Corinthians 8:9).
I know you are being besieged by requests for funding, and there is only so much discretionary money available to distribute to those ministries needing help. Nevertheless, may I ask you to prayerfully consider putting the NDP Task Force on your list of priorities? Only you and the Lord can make that decision, of course, and my task is simply to let you know of our need. Whatever the outcome, we are extremely thankful for your support and we value your friendship and commitment to Pray for America.
Blessings to you and yours,
Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force
The wide, open spaces bring peace and joy to me. This part of northern New Mexico was green with rolling hills, a lot of ranch land with ample opportunity to gaze on God’s creation and reflect on His provision. We drove into one of those very small towns where the speed limit drops dramatically, bringing a convergence of highway traffic into slow moving local life. I was in the far right lane coming up quickly behind a vehicle. I was sure I saw a clear path around it in the left lane. Now in the left lane, I instantly realized I was wrong. There was no time to fully brake before I rear-ended the car ahead.
My early driving record was labeled by my family as ‘lead footed’. When my husband and I married over 34 years ago, as I said ‘I do’, his auto insurance said ‘we do not’. They cancelled his policy due to my 5 speeding tickets—ouch. Okay, I think one of those was a parking ticket. That is much better right? So from early marriage, I became a slower driver, knowing that we, as a couple, didn’t need any of my past ticket costs now.
In a flash I realized how quickly things had gone wrong in small town New Mexico. Where did that car come from? I hadn’t seen it at all, so odd for the “defensive driver” I thought I had become. What to do? There were only milliseconds to decide. I could run into the back of the car or move back into right lane? No, another vehicle was suddenly on my right. I momentarily braked, then shouted “JESUS CHRIST!” while pushing pedal to the metal. There could have been nothing more important to exclaim.
I moved to pass the car by going into the next left lane. This was a four-lane area, meaning I was passing by driving into the on-coming traffic’s lane. Keep in mind, I had my most precious cargo with me: my only child and my only granddaughter. I had prided myself on becoming defensive from drivers just like I presently was. It felt like “Someone” else took over to move our vehicle like a chess piece, a Master player.
I’m not proud of this scenario I created. It’s taken me months to write about it. But I am writing it now, finally, because I want to share my Jesus with you. A major thought going through my mind in those moments was: “Am I taking the Lord’s name in vain?” I don’t normally call on His name that way. When I shouted “JESUS CHRIST”, it just came out - loud and clear. I felt concern that it might be like what we hear when someone curses. It can be mysterious the range of thoughts we have in mere seconds!
Rather than rear-ending another vehicle at declining speed, now we were in rapid acceleration going the wrong way. If there had been an oncoming vehicle, we would have collided head on. It would have been totally my fault, endangering lives most priceless to me. Yet, the lane was clear and I passed very quickly and moved to the far right lane again. There, I slowed way down, while taking in reality. I distinctly recall the other highway traffic giving me a wide berth those next few miles. My paprika colored Subaru stood out and they kept some distance!
The invisible reality of His presence I could not fully fathom in that moment or for several days afterward. This was a divine encounter that took awhile to sink in. Yet His complete power, willingness, sovereignty, grace and mercy, became clearly manifest and tangible as I relived those moments like a movie scene.
Our 2013 National Day of Prayer theme was taken from Matthew 12: 21, “In His name the nations shall put their hope.” Thus, individuals should put their hope in Him too. Truly His very name is powerful. He answered me as I exclaimed the name above every name.
He knows the intent of our hearts and mine was in immediate need. He knew in advance that this moment in time would arrive. When I exclaimed His name, He was there. There is no other explanation. He moved to protect and His covering is real and physical. His response to His name overwhelms me with both awe and stunned thankfulness. I believe He directed me to punch forward and pass in the lane with no time to be cautious. I didn’t know if the lane was clear, but I do know 3 of the 4 lanes were occupied. Either He held that lane open for us or supernaturally cleared it in that moment in time.
Will JESUS CHRIST be there for you in an emergency? Have you experienced the pure and simple power of His very name? This should challenge us to keep His name on our lips and in our minds, ready to call to Him at a moment’s notice. I often tell others, to just say the name JESUS when at a loss for words. I often say it beneath my breath, quietly in situations, but now I know He responds to a full outright exclamation!
There is great instruction on His name from Philippians 2: 9-11: “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Next time I visit your area, who will drive? How blessed that we hope in Him alone, and none other.
Shalom my fellow brothers and sisters in JESUS CHRIST!
Senior Director, Prayer Mobilization
“Dad, I’m so hungry. May I have some bread?”
Does that sound like a prayer to you? Or is it more like a child asking his father for what he needs? God invites us to come to Him as a little child. It’s as simple as saying, “Daddy, I need you.”
God holds the key to all your longings: provision, protection, belonging, compassion, forgiveness. And He wants to provide them for you . . . just ask Him. He strengthens and encourages you and your family through your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer—corporate family prayer—is the power source from which that faith derives its life. Families that pray together lay hold of the very power of God to cope with the challenges of daily living.
Below, you will find a guide (for download) that contains a bundle of suggestions and helpful resources. This guide, The Power of Family Prayer, is our free gift to you from the National Day of Prayer Task Force. It offers practical, motivating ideas and encouragement designed to help families unite and witness the power of God. You’ll see that prayer is really quite simple and that it is the single most important experience your family can share. In addition, activities and unforgettable testimonies of real people reveal just what can happen when we pray.
Prayer can be as dynamic and varied as your own imagination and creativity. Mealtime and bedtime are great starting points, but God has so much more in store for you as your family learns to talk to Him. Prayers can be spoken aloud, sung, staged, danced or even painted. The possibilities are endless as you turn your family’s heart toward the Lord. You’ll want to begin a journal of requests in order to refresh your memory and jump-start your words of thanksgiving.
God wants your family to shine like lights in a rapidly darkening and dysfunctional world. He desires each member to have his or her eyes open to realities that others refuse to see. He longs for you to walk with Christ through a larger, more wondrous world than some are capable of imagining. Take the roof off and establish a direct link between your home and the heart of the King of all creation.
No greater or more crucial task has been entrusted to us as parents than that of teaching our children to pray. Your children have already had practice when they’ve said, “Dad, may I have some bread?” So, let's get started. Download The Power of Family Prayer_2014 now.